Local News

Grill may have sparked fire that killed soldier, daughters

Posted March 20, 2012 4:45 p.m. EDT
Updated March 21, 2012 10:23 a.m. EDT

— A fire two weeks ago that killed a Fort Bragg soldier and his two daughters might have started in a charcoal grill on the deck of their Hope Mills home, authorities said Tuesday.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Duane Cantrell, 36, died March 6 when he rushed back into his burning home to try to rescue his daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia.

The only survivor of the fire, which authorities said was accidental, was his wife and the girls' mother, Louise Cantrell, 37.

Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office determined that the fire started on the deck of the home at 4151 Pecan Drive, but the damage was so extensive that they haven't be able to pinpoint the source of the fire, authorities said. A charcoal grill on the deck is believed to have sparked the blaze, they said.

Edward Cantrell and the two girls were buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Club Hellas restaurant in Hope Mills plans to host a fundraising barbecue Saturday for the Cantrell family that will feature raffle drawings. Organizers said they still need donations and asked that people willing to help call Randy White at 910-476-3260.

Edward Cantrell, a recipient of four Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart, served with the 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg. He recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

He also is survived by a 13-year-old son from a previous marriage.